UPDATE 1-Denmark to hike oil tax on small producers

Fri Mar 1, 2013 7:08am EST

Related Topics

* Tax hike will not affect DUC

* Aim is to bring taxes in line with DUC's levies

* To generate extra DKK27.5 bln crowns over time

COPENHAGEN, March 1 (Reuters) - Denmark will increase taxes on smaller offshore oil and gas producers, hoping to generate extra revenue and bring taxation in line with the country's biggest oil producer, the prime minister said on Friday.

Denmark, which produces around 200,000 barrels of oil per day, hopes the measures will generate an extra 27.5 billion crowns ($4.83 billion) of revenue over time with DONG Energy and Hess footing much of the bill.

"From now on, Denmark will benefit from the work of all the companies in the North Sea," Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt told a news conference. "With the money, we will finance infrastructure projects for all Danes."

Thorning-Schmidt, who presides over an unpopular centre-left minority government, is struggling to revive growth and has been criticised for stimulus measures that appeared to benefit companies but not the people.

Earlier this week, she proposed a corporate tax cut, a move that was criticised by Denmark's top eight trade unions.

Danish Underground Consortium (DUC), which accounts for about 85 percent of the country's oil output, will not be affected by the increase as a 2003 agreement over its taxation remain intact, she said.

Major fields not operated by DUC include Siri, operated by DONG, and South Arne, operated jointly by DONG and Hess. Other operators working at smaller fields include Wintershall, a unit of German chemicals firm BASF.

Danish shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk owns 31.2 percent of DUC. Royal Dutch Shell Group has 36.8 percent, Chevron 12 percent and Nordsofonden a 20 percent stake in the partnership.

FILED UNDER: